Col. (Ret.) Charles Mcgee

In March 1942, McGee was a sophomore at the University of Illinois studying engineering. While at the University of Illinois he was a member of the National Society of Pershing Rifles. After enlisting in the US Army on October 26, 1942, he became a part of the Tuskegee Airmen having earned his pilot's wings, and graduating from Class 43-F on June 30, 1943.

By February 1944, McGee was stationed in Italy with the 302nd Fighter Squadron of the 332d Fighter Group, flying his first mission on February 14. McGee flew the Bell P-39Q Airacobra, Republic P-47D Thunderbolt and North American P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft, escorting Consolidated B-24 Liberator and Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers over Germany, Austria and the Balkans. During missions, he also engaged in low level attacks over enemy airfields and rail yards.

On August 23, 1944, McGee while escorting B-17s over Czechoslovakia, he engaged a formation of Luftwaffe fighters and downed a Focke Wulf Fw 190.

Promoted to Captain, McGee had flown a total of 137 combat missions, and had returned to the United States on December 1, 1944, to become an instructor on the North American B-25 Mitchell bombers that another unit of the Tuskegee Airmen were working up. He remained at Tuskegee Army Air Field until 1946, when the base was closed.

After World War II, McGee was sent to Lockbourne Air Field to become the base operation and training officer.  When the Korean War broke out, he flew P-51 Mustangs again in the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron, completing 100 missions, and was promoted to Major. Continuing his service with the United States Air Force, Major McGee continued to serve as a fighter pilot, flying Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star and Northrop F-89 Scorpion aircraft.

During the Vietnam war Lt. Colonel McGee flew 172 combat missions in a McDonnell RF-4 photo-reconnaissance aircraft. During his Southeast Asia combat tour, Lt. Col. McGee served as the Squadron Commander of the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. of which was based at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, in South Vietnam. 

In a 30-year active service career, he achieved the highest three-war fighter mission total, 409 fighter combat missions, of any Air Force aviator.

After a series of other appointments both in the United States as well as in Italy and Germany, and promotion to Colonel,Col. McGee retired on January 31, 1973. He ended his military career with 6,308 flying hours.